Marc Dusseiller - DIY Microscopy

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POC Kenya diy microscope.JPG



This project deals with simple ways to build microscopes out of cheap and easily accessible devices/parts. A small hack to the optics of a standard webcam allows to create video data, with a magnification of around 100 to 400x (depending on the model and the setup) at a working distance of a few mm. The highest magnifications can be achieved by inverting (putting upside down) the lens. Addition of good lighting by the use of leds allows to create images using a bright-field method (shine through the stuff) or dark field method (shine from the side and look at the reflections and scattering). To achieve a suitable and stable setup a mechanical stage can be built from plywood, plastic or cardboard.

Materials used

  • a cheap webcam or the PS3eye cam
  • LED's for lighting
  • plywood nd plastic sheets
  • nuts and bolts
  • chewing gum / blue tack
  • glass slides
  • plastic pipettes
  • tape


Detailed instructions

Performed tests

POC Kenya jason tests.JPG

Potential applications

Education, environmental testing, blood analysis, simple show-case setups, (fluorescent diagnostics methods)

Further links

Hackteria | Open Source Biological Art

Step-by-Step instructions for building your own DIY microscope

Feedback from participants

POC Kenya testing microscope.jpg
Chris Kinyanjui from IPR testing his self-made hacked PS3eye Microscope in his lab. We look forward to see more images from tests with various parasites and blood samples. With the sensitivity of the PS3eye cam it should be possible to detect fluorescence, just add a UV-LED, cover everything with black cloth to reduce background. good luck!
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